Rugby League

1895 Cup

20 Apr 2023

1895 Cup – AB Sundecks renews support as clubs eye Wembley Way

1895 Cup – AB Sundecks renews support as clubs eye Wembley Way

AB Sundecks will again support Rugby League’s 1895 Cup this year – and the eight clubs involved in this weekend’s Betfred Challenge Cup Fifth Round ties are just two steps away from Finals Day, which this summer returns to Wembley Stadium.

York Knights play Newcastle Thunder on Friday evening (21 April, 7.30pm), Halifax Panthers entertain Bradford Bulls 24 hours later on Saturday 22 April (BBC iPlayer, 6.50pm), The Sportsman streams Batley Bulldogs versus Keighley Cougars on Sunday 23 at 3pm and London Broncos play Dewsbury Rams at the same time.

In addition to earning places in the Sixth Round of the Challenge Cup – when the 12 Betfred Super League clubs join the competition – the winners of the four ties will automatically qualify for the Semi Finals of the 1895 Cup – sponsored, as it has been since 2019, by AB Sundecks, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and installers of complete PVCu decking solutions to the leisure and domestic markets.

The draw for the Semi Finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup will take place on the weekend of 17/18 June. Ties will be played on the weekend of 23/24 July, with the final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 12 August (KO 5.15pm).

Laura Beaumont, Marketing Director at AB Sundecks, says: “This competition gives clubs outside Super League a realistic chance of playing at Wembley Stadium on finals day and I know from personal experience what a fabulous occasion it is.

"I’ve been a Leigh supporter since I was a little girl and the experience of watching them win the 1895 Cup at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year was so amazing it made us want to support the competition again in 2023.

“My message to the eight clubs who are now just two steps away from Wembley is ‘don’t doubt yourselves, just go for it!’”

The introduction of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup in 2019 has given Championship and League One clubs, and their fans, an additional opportunity to reach Wembley on top of the established Challenge Cup route.

And there will be a new name on the trophy, following Wembley victories for Sheffield Eagles in 2019 and Featherstone Rovers in 2021, and Leigh last year when Finals Day was switched to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Keighley Cougars’ Mark Ioane, an 1895 Cup winner with Leigh last year, adds:  “I have great memories of last year at Tottenham and I’m hoping to do the same with Keighley this year. I’ve been to Wembley few times, but never as a player. It would be a dream come true.

“We have a big job on our hands against Batley Bulldogs this Sunday, but preparation is going well and we owe them one after they caught us in the last minute of the league game. The players are excited and we hope the fans are too.”  

Rhodri Jones, the Managing Director of Rugby League Commercial, said: “I’m delighted that AB Sundecks are again choosing to support Rugby League and we look forward to working with them in the coming weeks and months. Last year’s 1895 Cup Final was a fantastic game and this year we’ll be back at Wembley Stadium, the setting for so many of the game’s greatest matches. There’s everything to play for this weekend and I wish all eight clubs the very best of luck.”

This year the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final reverts to the early evening slot in which it was first played at Wembley in 2019, as part of new-look Wembley line-up which includes both the Men’s and Women’s Betfred Challenge Cup Finals for the first time, as well as the return of the traditional Champion Schools Year 7 Boys curtain-raiser, now sponsored by inspiresport.

Tickets for an action-packed day are better value than ever and are available online now!